The Headquarter of the INAS Slovenia Patronage is located close to the Collio Gorizia/ Goriška Brda area. Territory with particularly favorable to viticulture and therefore there are numerous both Italian and Slovenian companies that produce wine. The beauty of the area, as well as the presence of places of historical interest, has also led to the development of activities related to tourism and hospitality.
Part of the clients who historically turn to our branches are workers residing in Slovenia and employed in Italy in the agricultural sector, such as agricultural workers hired on a fixed-term or permanent contract, we have focused our attention on the social security protection of these workers, providing qualified assistance with the welcome of workers in our infodesk and on-site events.
Agricultural workers are subject to legislation that is partially different from that envisaged for the generality of employees. The peculiarities and needs of the agricultural sector – characterized, more than any other, by the influence of atmospheric agents and the seasonality of products – mean that the agricultural labor market has also taken on its own specificity, with a clear prevalence of fixed-term contracts compared to those with open-ended contracts, which is accompanied by a strong presence of workers, who still represent the majority of workers employed in the sector today.
The social security aspect of subordinate agricultural workers is, in general, similar to that of dependent workers managed by INPS, but has some particularities as regards agricultural workers, for example the contribution statement is expressed in days.
One year of contributions for agricultural workers is achieved, for the purposes of entitlement and measurement of old-age, invalidity and survivors’ pensions, with 270 annual days of effective, voluntary or figurative contributions. For access to the early old-age or seniority pension, on the other hand, they base 156 days a year. There are therefore two different coefficients for transforming days into contributory weeks to verify access to early retirement, 52 weeks relate to 156 days: one day corresponds to 0.333 weeks, while for old age, invalidity and survivors’ pensions, 52 relate weeks with 270 days: one day corresponds to 0.19259 (coefficient which is used in any case to calculate the measure of performance). If the worker also has non-agricultural contributions during the year, he cannot count more than 52 weeks. In practice, if he already has 270 days, he cannot count on any additional contribution; if he has less, extra-agricultural contributions can be added for the difference, up to 52 weeks.
Based on the duration of the employment relationship and the duties, the following qualifications of agricultural workers are distinguished:
– otd (agricultural or day laborers in the countryside): workers hired for short-term jobs, of an occasional nature or to replace workers with the right to keep their job;
– oti (fixed wage earners) hired with open-ended employment contracts;
– individual or family co-participants: workers who, individually or with their family nucleus, undertake the obligation to co-cultivate someone else’s land. There is no hiring but stipulation of a contract;
– small settlers: workers who establish, in estates that do not require working days exceeding 119, an employment relationship of an associative nature, having as their object the management of the estate or livestock breeding;
– small direct farmers: land owners who differ from direct farmers because the land requires less than 104 days of work per year.
Agricultural work is recognized as “hard” work:
The category of heavy work was declined by Law 232/2016 (the so-called financial 2017) following the discussion between the government and the trade union parties to give partial relief to those who have carried out particularly difficult and risky jobs in their working life starting from from 1 May 2017. The benefits have gradually strengthened over the years.
Since 2018 (Law No. 205/2017) the Italian legislator has added to the list of so-called onerous jobs:
• specialized agricultural workers: these are those who plan and carry out all the operations necessary to cultivate agricultural products intended for food and non-food consumption, making open field crops, woody crops, nurseries, greenhouses and stable gardens productive;
• specialized livestock workers: these are those who deal with the care, feeding and custody of farm animals, to produce meat or other products intended for food consumption, or for industrial processing and production
• unskilled agricultural workers: these are those who take care of and produce one or more types of crops and livestock in a non-specialised or unequivocal way;
• unskilled workers in agriculture and green maintenance;
• unskilled forestry, animal care, fishing and hunting workers.
The categories of “burdensome” workers enjoy (in addition to the social bee accessible only to residents in Italy) benefits in accessing early retirement for early work and the exemption from adjusting to life expectancy (see access guide pension prepared for Euradria 2021/22).
Unemployment of fixed-term agricultural workers employed in Italy
The following are entitled to ordinary agricultural unemployment:
– fixed-term workers (OTD): these are workers employed by farms for seasonal or short-term work.
Their employment contract already establishes the end of the employment relationship and the number of days that, on a forecast basis, they will be worked. They are also called country dailies.
Subordinate workers residing in Slovenia are also subject to compulsory unemployment insurance and family benefits for periods of work in agriculture of a seasonal nature.
The application for agricultural unemployment benefits must be submitted electronically to the INPS between 1 January and 31 March of the year following that in which the unemployment occurred, under penalty of forfeiture of the right. For example, for the indemnity relating to the year 2022, the request must be made by 31 March 2023.
The requirements for being entitled to unemployment benefits are:
1. registration in the lists of agricultural workers relating to the year for which the indemnity is requested
2. two years of insurance seniority
3. at least 102 daily contributions in the two-year period formed by the year in which the allowance refers to the previous one.
Agricultural unemployment is compensated for the number of days actually worked in the reference year as reported in the specific annual lists of dependent agricultural workers. However, this number cannot be greater than the difference between the parameter set by law (365 or 366 for leap years) and the days of effective employment (agricultural and non-agricultural activity), performed in the reference year.